Keystone Strategy Cover Letter

You’re sitting in class listening to your professor go on and on about how he’s so much smarter than the CEO of some company and how if he was in charge he’d do this and that, when you say to the kid sitting next to you, “If he’s so smart, why is he standing here lecturing instead of making bank in an executive level job at some company?” That’s a really good question. College professors are supposed to be the best minds in their respective fields, but they often eschew a big pay day for the safety of academia – hey, the hours are great. The folks at Keystone Strategy consider this a waste of resources, so they’ve put some of the top professors from Harvard Business School to work as expert advisors for their consulting firm.

Despite the Name, They’re Not Located in Pennsylvania

We’re not sure where the name came from, but Keystone Strategy is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in Boston and Salt Lake City. They are an international strategy consulting firm that specializes in Aerospace, Biotech and Pharmaceuticals, and Technology. Their Job Openings page doesn’t specifically identify positions that are available, but it does have a long list of requirements for applicants. We have seen job postings for Analyst and Consultant positions at Keystone, but we’re not sure which of these are geared towards new grads at the entry-level. Their standards are extremely high, but there’s barely a mention of prior work experience. It seems like they’re more interested in getting the smartest people they can. Our favorite of their 6 qualifications that applicants should cover in their cover letters is “The Pittsburgh Airport Test: Something that gives us confidence that we wouldn’t hate being stuck with you in the Pittsburgh airport for more than six hours.” Yes, they have specific requirements for cover letters, so make sure you read them over before you send your resume to

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

Sorry for the short post today, but I’m getting on a boat to float down the river. Happy job searching!

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Happy Valentine’s Day! In this season of love, a very important question comes to mind:

Do you love your job?

It’s a very valid question, no matter what the economic conditions or how tough the job market is. In fact, workers who love their jobs are more productive, have fewer sick days and produce higher quality work.

When contacting a potential employer, don’t be afraid to show your passion for your profession…

The Passion Statement

An excerpt from “Get a Job Without Going Crazy (2nd Ed)” available on

Smart managers want to hire someone who is passionate about what they do.  There are a number of reasons for this.  Passionate employees are more engaged, tend to work harder, have less absenteeism and stay in the job longer.  When all things are equal between candidates – skills, experience and education – the hiring manager will take the person who is excited to do the job.  They have even been known to choose the passionate candidate over the more qualified ones.

So why not tell the hiring managers your passion in your resume and cover letter?

It’s a bold move, which makes some people uncomfortable.  It’s easy to write the standard “results-oriented professional with 10 years of experience in creating highly effective teams.”  It’s safe.  It’s comfortable.

And it also won’t impress anybody.

In this crowded job market, you need to go beyond safe and comfortable to make a good impression.  A resume that sounds just like everybody else is not unique.

This is why the Passion Statement is so important.  A Passion Statement is a three-sentence summary of what you love about your job, expressed in key words and phrases that HR and managers will recognize.  That’s the real trick: it’s not enough to say your zeal; it also has to be in key words.

Finding your passion

The first step for any Passion Statement is to figure out what you really do love about your job. Take a moment and consider your favorite job.  Why did you like this job?  What made you excited to go to work every day? These can be specific duties, projects or responsibilities.  Maybe it was being a leader, or the people you worked with.  Maybe it was getting to use unique skills or learning new things.  Brainstorm as many different things about the job that you can.

Sample Passion Statement:

For over 12 years, I have exceeded both my personal and my professional sales goals.  I live to find the clients, discover their needs, build the relationship and close the deal.  Once committed to a project, there is nothing that can stand in the way of my success.

Let’s take a closer look at our sample Passion Statement for the experienced salesperson.

The first sentence, “for over 12 years, I have exceeded both my personal and my professional sales goals.”  We always start with the years of experience because that is one of HR’s major screening criteria.  Next is the core screening criteria; in sales, reaching and exceeding goals is what all hiring managers want.

Sentence two: “I live to find the clients, discover their needs, build the relationship and close the deal.”  Each one of these steps came straight from the Key Element Detector™.  But even more important than that, these are the aspects of the job that this candidate loved the most.  When speaking with her in an interview, the passion comes out naturally.  Including it in her Passion Statement lets managers know she understands exactly what is important about this job.

Final sentence: “once committed to a project, there is nothing that can stand in the way of my success.”  The closing sentence is all about a key personality trait.  Personality matters on resumes, not just facts.  By demonstrating a relevant personality feature, it ties together all of the elements in the Passion Statement.

Using Passion Statements beyond the resume

A well-crafted Passion Statement can be used anywhere.  It can be the basis of your networking introduction.  You can use it in your LinkedIn profile or other social media platforms.  You can even use pieces of it in your cover letters.

Passion Statements are the one piece of your resume that is all about you – and that makes it a valuable tool throughout your job search process.

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